Current debates in philosophy

Current debates in philosophy
embracing_poverty
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Posted Apr 4, 2007 - 10:51 AM:
Subject: Current debates in philosophy
What do you see as some current "hot" topics in philosophy? I'm thinking specifically of topics that perhaps only philosophers can answer, or topics that are best addressed by philosophers.

It seems that so often philosophical discussions are really debates about intellectual history. They boil down to literary criticism. While this is certainly useful, I'm curious what NEW research you see philosophers doing that addresses problems best left to philosophers and not, say, scientists. (So many issues that philosophers once speculated about can now be best addressed, perhaps, by specialists within the empirical sciences.)

In other words - how are current philosophers contributing to the advancement of human understanding? Or, are they (we) merely archivists of thought and educated interpreters of complicated texts?

And here's a subquestion, that perhaps is the real question, and the question which places this topic in the General (as opposed to Factual) forum: do philosophers have a relevant place in academia as researchers or is the role of the academic philosopher to be an interpreter of pseudo-sacred texts for today's listeners - secular priests, after a fashion? Are all the really good questions being most effectively addressed by other disciplines?

Edited by embracing_poverty on Apr 4, 2007 - 2:15 PM
ulfheonar
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Posted Apr 4, 2007 - 1:29 PM:

Research, philosophers?
Every item in this forum could be argued as a "hot topic."
And your last question is a question worthy of debate.
Illithid
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Posted Apr 6, 2007 - 8:22 PM:

This is a personal opinion so anyone who feels otherwise don't try and be polite speak upwink I feel that philosophy is a way of thinking. So a word to describe this way of thinking. Somebody has seen this method of thought’s usefulness and it is being integrated into all academia. Kind of like how teaching students how to set goals in high school is becoming “the thing”. So, yes, the role of the academic philosopher has become to be the interpreters of pseudo-sacred texts for today's listeners - secular priests. But this does not mean current philosophers are not contributing to the advancement of human understanding. I just think we are having trouble separating philosophy as a method from philosophy as an individuals choice of merit. Sorry if this explanation is too laymen I don’t study philosophy so I often don’t know the terminology to describe concepts. rolling eyes

Edited by Illithid on Apr 6, 2007 - 8:28 PM
osibe
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Posted Apr 6, 2007 - 9:43 PM:

I think new philosophical questions are raised as we gain more advanced technology. Bio-ethics are going to be very important in the near future.

Like:

Should we clone humans (or animals)?

What does it scientifically mean to be human, what percentage of DNA qualifies an organism as "being human"?

Genetic enhancement: like selling memory pills or gene implants. If we start selling memory enhancing drugs then who will benefit from them? It seems like at first only the elite or rich will benefit from such technology.

Space travel/Humanity's relation to earth.

Thing like this.
rabeldin
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Posted Apr 7, 2007 - 6:42 AM:

Hey, guys. Don't start any debates that will take more than a dozen years to complete. The effects of global warming and environment destruction are upon us.
Illithid
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Posted Apr 7, 2007 - 8:12 AM:

rabeldin wrote:
Hey, guys. Don't start any debates that will take more than a dozen years to complete. The effects of global warming and environment destruction are upon us.



Or are they...Sometimes I wonder if global warming is just a verbally transmitted fad that isn't really realraised eyebrow. I should look into it before I get myself in trouble... But all kidding aside that’s another good point you bring up. If we clear our minds of all immediate threats we can worry about the big ones later. And so that’s why we find philosophy being used so broadly. Don’t know if I’m making something out of nothing from what you said either way I need to know more about global warmingsad.
ulfheonar
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Posted Apr 7, 2007 - 10:30 AM:

I would be willing to venture that modern philosophy is not the thing of the past. Bio-Ethics is an applied philosophical title versus Plato's Cave, which is not so much applied as thought provoking. Not that modern philosophy is not thought provoking but it is substantiated with something more than words, ways of thinking and ideas.
Well that's my opinion at least.
To
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Posted Apr 9, 2007 - 5:10 PM:

Science is " x + 4 + 2 - 6=7" Find x.


Philosophy is "x + 4 + y - 6=7" Find x.



Megalopsuchos
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Posted Apr 9, 2007 - 10:52 PM:

Clearly, the hottest topics are in analytical philosophy.

I think that there are a few topics in metaphysics that are really hot now. I'd look at Sider, Merrick, vanInwagen, et al.

But, I think that the hottest topic -which is sometimes classified under metaphysics- is Philosophy of Mind. Chalmers is where I would start with that, just because he's anthologized everybody many times. Here's a few helpful sites:k ago. He's working in this plan to re-incentivize drug companies to get medicine to the global poor ... There's a ton of similar stu

http://consc.net/biblio.html

Contemporary Philosophy of Mind: An Annotated Bibliography, An Annotated Bibliography, by David Chalmers (Australian National University)

http://consc.net/online.html

Online Papers on Consciousness, by David Chalmers (Australian National University)

Some of these are still very topical. I like Jaegwon's Kim's new book, though I'm uneasy with his causal exclusion argument. And I like Terrence Horgan a lot.

Of course, there's always going to be hot-stuff in political/social philosophy, and applied ethics. I saw Thomas Pogge about a weeff that is hot right now, mostly because it is "applied".

Ethics, and the non-analytical philosophy sub-disciplines are not as hot. However, virtue ethics are still pretty hot. Rosalind Hursthouse is still one of the best in teh field. You don't need to look at all of the ancient philosophers (my personal interest), like Nick Smith, Terry Penner, Terry Irwin, Gregory Vlastos, et. al. I think that it is best to look at Hursthouse, as well as Julia Driver nowadays ... if you want some general stuff about the rise of virtue ethics.

Of course, what philosophers are "doing" currently is publishing papers. The Pacific APA just ended (which I did not go to unfortunately), but I heard it was really good. There was some really hot stuff in Philosophy of Mind I'm told.
ulfheonar
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Posted Apr 10, 2007 - 3:06 PM:

To wrote:
Science is " x + 4 + 2 - 6=7" Find x.


Philosophy is "x + 4 + y - 6=7" Find x.





Some philosophy is more like "x + 4 + y - 6 = 7" Find Z
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